Friday, January 15, 2010

By Jason Kendall

What might you expect the top of the range training organisations accredited by Microsoft to offer a student in the UK today? Undoubtedly, the most supreme Gold Partner Microsoft accredited programs, providing a selection of courses to lead you to a variety of careers in the IT workplace.

Try to discuss all the different permutations with somebody who is on familiar terms with the commercial needs of the market, and can influence your choice of the more likely roles to match your character.

Training must be customised to make the most of your skills and abilities. Consequently, once you've decided on the most fruitful career for you, your next requirement is the most suitable program that will get you into that job.

Many students come unstuck over one area of their training very rarely considered: The breakdown of the course materials before being physically delivered to you.

Often, you will purchase a course that takes between and 1 and 3 years and get sent one module each time you pass an exam. This may seem sensible until you think about these factors:

What if there are reasons why you can't finish every single section? What if you don't find their order of learning is ideal for you? Due to no fault of yours, you may not meet the required timescales and not get all the study materials as a result.

For maximum flexibility and safety, most students now choose to have all their training materials (which they've now paid for) couriered out in one package, all at the beginning. You can then decide at what speed and in which order you'd like to work.

Finding your first job in the industry can be a little easier with a Job Placement Assistance service. With the massive skills shortage in Great Britain even when times are hard, there isn't a great need to make too much of this option though. It isn't so complicated as you might think to get the right work as long as you've got the necessary skills and qualifications.

One important thing though, avoid waiting until you have completed your exams before bringing your CV up to date. Right at the beginning of your training, list what you're working on and get promoting!

It's possible that you won't have even taken your exams when you land your first junior support job; although this is not possible unless your CV is with employers.

If you don't want to travel too far to work, then you'll often find that an independent and specialised local employment service could serve you better than some national concern, as they're going to be familiar with the local job scene.

Essentially, as long as you focus the same level of energy into landing your first IT position as into training, you're not likely to experience problems. Some men and women bizarrely put hundreds of hours into their course materials and do nothing more once they've passed their exams and appear to be under the impression that jobs will come to them.

People attracted to this sort of work can be very practical by nature, and aren't really suited to the classroom environment, and struggling through thick study-volumes. If you identify with this, try the newer style of interactive study, where you can learn everything on-screen.

Long-term memory is enhanced when multiple senses are involved - educational experts have expounded on this for years now.

Learning is now available on CD and DVD discs, so everything is learned directly from your own PC. Using video-streaming, you can watch instructors demonstrating how to perform the required skill, with some practice time to follow - in an interactive lab.

It would be silly not to view a small selection of training examples before you make your decision. The minimum you should expect would be instructor-led video demonstrations and interactive modules with audio-visual elements.

Many companies provide online training only; while you can get away with this much of the time, consider how you'll deal with it if your access to the internet is broken or you get slow speeds and down-time etc. It's much safer to rely on CD and DVD ROM materials that don't suffer from these broadband issues.

Be on the lookout that any accreditations you're considering doing will be recognised by employers and are the most recent versions. Training companies own certificates are often meaningless.

From an employer's viewpoint, only the top companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe or CompTIA (for instance) provide enough commercial weight. Nothing else will cut the mustard.

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